Legislative Update – Jan. 20

The Latest from the Bad Idea Factory:

As the session begins to kick into high gear, there is a lot of anger, frustration, questions, and concerns surrounding the attacks on public education. We must channel that energy in a constructive way to put pressure on lawmakers that enough is enough. Merely complaining to each other and on social media won’t stop the bad policies that affect our livelihoods, our profession, and our communities. Call and email your legislators regularly. Let them know that you are fed up with their playing games with your insurance, salary, and retirement. Let them know that you are fed up with their attacks on the institution of public education. Most importantly, let them know that you are a voter and constituent, and fed up with their actions as your representative.

The legislature is currently mostly dealing with rollover bills. These are bills that were introduced last session and failed to pass. Many of these are bad for public education.

Read moreLegislative Update – Jan. 20

Legislative Update – Jan. 14, 2018: The Latest from the Bad Idea Factory

Remember to join us for the Save Public Education Rally on Monday, January 15th at noon on the river side steps of the Capitol. With all of the bad ideas coming out of Charleston, merely complaining on social media, to your colleagues, and continuing to sit on your couch won’t do anything. Change requires collective and continuous action.

As the legislative session gets underway in earnest, the Capitol is beginning to live up to, as Delegate Mike Pushkin calls it, ‘The Bad Idea Factory.’ With that in mind, here is what’s happening that impacts teachers, schools, and students:

Read moreLegislative Update – Jan. 14, 2018: The Latest from the Bad Idea Factory

Last Day to Comment on Watering-Down of Graduation, Social Studies, and PE Requirements is December 11th

Monday, December 11th is the last day to comment on proposed changes to state BOE Policy 2510. The proposed policy revisions include: reducing the number of classes required to complete a high school diploma, reducing the number of required social studies and history classes, reducing the amount of physical and health education required for middle and high school students, changing the statewide grade scale to ten point increments, and allowing counties to outsource student instruction to potentially private and for-profit online school operators.

While these proposed policy revisions affect state policy minimums, counties could always choose to add requirements above the state minimum requirements.

Submit your comments here. Comments regarding the reduction of graduation requirements, social studies and history, physical and health education and the grade scale go in the 5th box. Comments regarding outsourcing student instruction to potentially private and for-profit virtual operators go in the 6th box.

Proposed Changes to Policy 2510 Would Cheapen the Value of West Virginia High School Diplomas

Major changes have been proposed to Policy 2510 that could dramatically reshape middle and high schools in across the state.

The biggest changes include reducing from 24 to 21 credits a student needs to graduate high school, requiring only three social studies credits to graduate, and changing the non-weighted course grading scale to 90-100 for an A, 80-89 for a B, etc.

The changes could potentially allow high school students to graduate at the end of their junior year and lead some counties to reduce the number of teachers and service personnel.

Read moreProposed Changes to Policy 2510 Would Cheapen the Value of West Virginia High School Diplomas

2017-2018 School Calendar Hearings Announced

The following was posted on the Webster County Board of Education’s webpage. As of Saturday, April 1st, faculty and staff in various WCBOE schools have not seen the proposed 2017-2018 school calendars.

The Webster County Board of Education will be conducting public hearings for the proposed 2017-2018 school calendar.  The hearings will be open to the public and will be held at the Webster County Board of Education Office Building, 315 South Main Street, Webster Springs, WV, on Monday, April 10, 2017 and Monday, April 24, 2017, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Those individuals wishing to speak must be present and register to address the board at least 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

Special BOE Meeting

The Webster County Board of Education has called a special meeting for Wednesday, November 2nd at 4:00. This meeting will be to review applications for the vacant BOE seat. It is anticipated that the BOE will take action to fill the seat at its next regular meeting on Monday, November 14th. This special meeting is at the central office in Webster Springs.

A to F school grading policy to take effect this fall; cut scores released

The state Board of Education’s recent revisions to its A-F school grading policy (Policy 2320), which WVEA opposes, will go into effect this fall and schools will receive their first grades.

Schools will receive an A, B, C, D or F grade based on a scoring system approved by the state board. Too much of that scoring system depends on a student’s performance on the statewide summative assessment, which is currently the Smarter Balanced.

WVEA does not believe this accurately measures a school’s quality or performance. WVEA continues to oppose the A-F school grading system and the negative impact it could have on our schools and communities, and we have been publicly vocal in our opposition.

On Oct. 12 the state Board of Education set the cut scores for how to grade schools A, B, C, D or F. In this first year, schools will be graded on a bell curve, meaning the majority of public schools in West Virginia should expect a “C” grade.

With some slight variation, approximately 4% of schools will receive an F, 19% will receive a D, 54% will receive a C, 19% a B and 4% will receive an A. Smarter Balanced test results from the spring of 2015 and the spring of 2016 make up most of a school’s A-F score.

The statewide A-F school grades will be released to the public on Nov. 9.

Schools received their embargoed grades Oct. 14. They will have two weeks after that date to appeal, during which time districts will review the results, seek clarity on how they were determined and ensure their accuracy. Minor adjustments in school grades are possible and depend upon a school district’s corrections to the data.

High schools will be graded somewhat differently than middle schools and elementary schools. High schools can receive a total of 1,500 points. Elementary and middle schools can receive up to 1,200 points.

Here is how High Schools will be scored:

| Math proficiency rate: Up to 250 points

| English proficiency rate: 250 points

| Observed Growth (actual growth of each student): 100 points in math

| Observed Growth: 100 points in English/LA

| Adequate Growth (determines whether observed growth is enough for students to reach grade-level expectations, or there is growth to standard): 100 points in English/LA

| Adequate Growth: 100 points in math

| Accelerated Improvement of Lowest 25% of students in math: 100 points

| Accelerated Improvement of Lowest 25% of students in English/LA: 100 points

| Reducing the number of students in the at-risk subgroup: 50 points

| Attendance: 50 points

| Combined College and Career Ready Indicators. Measures students achieving college ready benchmarks or earning college credit; measures the percentage of high school students who complete Career and Technical education concentrations: 150 points

| Graduation Rates: 150 points

Here is how Elementary and Middle Schools will be scored:

| Math proficiency rate: 175 points

| English proficiency rate: 175 points

| Observed Growth (actual growth of each student): 100 points in math

| Observed Growth: 100 points in English/LA

| Adequate Growth (determines whether observed growth is enough for students to reach grade-level expectations, or there is growth to standard): 100 points in English

| Adequate Growth: 100 points in math

| Accelerated Improvement of Lowest 25% in math: 100 points

| Accelerated Improvement of Lowest 25% in English/LA: 100 points

| Reducing the number of students in the at-risk subgroup: 100 points

| Attendance: 100 points

| (ELEMENTARY ONLY): Below-standard third-grade reading rate (increasing the percentage of students scoring at or above standard in third-grade reading): 50 points

| (MIDDLE ONLY): Below standard eighth-grade mathematics rate (increasing the percentage of students scoring at or above standard in eighth-grade math): 50 points

WVEA believes that A-F will unfairly perpetuate the idea that many of our public schools are failing even though that is not the case.

There is the possibility of sending confusing, mixed messages to our students and communities. For instance, a West Virginia school that worked hard to close achievement gaps and had been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School could later be deemed a D or an F school if students struggle on their tests in a subsequent year.

Read moreA to F school grading policy to take effect this fall; cut scores released

A to F school grading policy to take effect this fall

The state Board of Education’s recent revisions to its A-F school grading policy (Policy 2320), which WVEA opposes, will go into effect this fall and schools will receive their first grades.

Schools will receive an A, B, C, D or F grade based on a scoring system approved by the state board. Too much of that scoring system depends on a student’s performance on the statewide summative assessment, which is currently the Smarter Balanced.

Read moreA to F school grading policy to take effect this fall

State school board approves revised A-F policy

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail
By: Ryan Quinn

Against opposition from teachers unions and school administrator groups, the West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday approved a revised policy that will give entire schools A-F grades based largely on their students’ scores — and growth in scores — on the statewide Smarter Balanced standardized tests.

Read moreState school board approves revised A-F policy